October, 2018

The inside job … property developer

Sal Quah is director of operations at ICD Property. Photo: Eddie Jim Sal Quah is director of operations at ICD Property. Photo: Eddie Jim
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Sal Quah is director of operations at ICD Property. Photo: Eddie Jim

Sal Quah is director of operations at ICD Property. Photo: Eddie Jim

Name: Sal Quah

Job: Property developer (director of operations) at ICD Property.

My job in a nutshell: Property development is a lengthy and complicated process, which generally starts from site acquisition followed by obtainment of council and planning permits, marketing and presales, construction, and finally completion and settlement. Depending on the project size it could take two years up to four or five years. It requires a lot of patience [as] it’s a long-term commitment; my role oversees the whole process.

How did you start out?

I secured a role as a research assistant while I was at university doing engineering. I liked it as a career path; my role now involves a lot of project management, which I also studied at university.

A great day is: In property development time is money, so a great day would be when all projects are running to schedule or, if not, ahead of time.

A challenging day is: One filled with meetings and more meetings — leaving me no time to do strategy and planning. My role involves being in constant communication with a lot of people — there are lots of meetings! Extreme weather days also hard — they can delay projects — it’s something we can’t control.

I’ll never forget … When I was attending a two-day long VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) hearing on a planning application for our very first project. The local council had refused it but I was over the moon when VCAT approved it at the end of the hearing; it’s like winning a court case.

Most people don’t know: A lot of success in property development happens during the first half of the project, when we apply for planning permits and are also focused on getting enough presales to get the project funded.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Canberra trainer Matt Dale wins, but not big in Country Championship qualifier

Canberra trainer Matt Dale walked away with a winner from Friday’s Goulburn meeting, but it wasn’t the race he would have preferred.
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Dale took four runners to Goulburn, three contesting the $100,000 Country Championship Qualifier (1400m).

Alagonia was the only Dale-trained galloper not to contest the feature event, but took a narrow victory in the race directly before.

The four-year-old $1.65 favourite had to tough it out, the first four separated by no more than a neck at the finish.

“He got there on the back of a big weight (59.5kg), which was a good effort,” Dale said. “I know he was the favourite, but he overcame a few negatives and got up right on the line.”

All three of Dale’s runners in the Country Championship Qualifier were respected by the punters.

Royal Jackpot was the $4.20 favourite, while Gocup Belle ($7.50) and Mystic Puzzle ($12) also recieved plenty of backing.

But none of the Dale team were able to finish inside the top-two and earn a spot in the $300,000 Country Championship final at Randwick.

“It was a very deep heat, and it was always going to come down to luck in running,” said Dale.

“I thought my main chance was Royal Jackpot, but he got back a long way, and couldn’t quite get onto the back of the right horse.

“He had to go very wide and still ran a good, solid fourth, which was a very game effort, but unfortunately we don’t make it to the final.”

Goulburn’s Country Championship Qualifier on Friday was one of seven held throughout NSW since March 1.

Given the strength of the Goulburn race, Dale believes the top finishers, Without A Shadow and Just A Blur, will fare well in the Country Championship Final on April 4.

The final Country Championship qualifying race will be held at Dubbo on Sunday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Brumbies call in Owen Finegan to stoke rivalry and end Sydney hoodoo

Owen Finegan as Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Photo: Image digitally alteredGrand final-winning captain Owen Finegan has revived memories of the ACT’s historic first Super Rugby win in Sydney 13 years ago, urging the Brumbies to “rip their hearts out” in Sunday’s battle against the NSW Waratahs.
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The Brumbies have won just two of 14 games in Sydney since Super Rugby began in 1996.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham called Finegan into camp during the week to inspire the squad, the former Australian Wallabies flanker recalling how the Brumbies watched footage from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom before their first win in Sydney, a 51-10 belting of the Waratahs in 2002.

The scene depicts a live prisoner having his heart ripped from his chest as a sacrifice.

“Our motivation that week was we wanted to go into their little fortress and we wanted to rip their hearts out,” Finegan said. “I spoke about a bit of a history lesson, the love-hate relationship and what it means. Individual battles don’t matter, it’s a chance to show you’re better than them as a team.

“It will be aggressive and ferocious, the hatred comes naturally. It’s Waratah week. Historically Sydney isn’t an easy place to go and win. But you can’t get distracted by the niggle and the physicality, you just have to focus on what you have to do.”

The Brumbies have a chance to skip clear in the Australian conference if they can topple the Waratahs. A bonus-point win would put them at least 14 points clear at the top of the Australian table and set them up for a charge into the Super Rugby finals.

“We have certainly started the season well, but we know the challenge this weekend is different. I’m sure there will be niggle,” Larkham said.

National spots will be up for grabs, Australian and NSW coach Michael Cheika getting the chance to see World Cup hopefuls go head-to-head.

Brumbies skipper Stephen Moore said he had not spoken to Cheika about potentially reclaiming the Wallabies captaincy later this year.

“You’re probably lying if you say you’re not thinking about [Wallabies] a little bit,” Moore said. “The Waratahs are the best-performing Australian team and that’s what we want to measure ourselves against.”

Waratahs captain Dave Dennis has imploring teh defending Super Rugby champions to dominate the Brumbies physically.

“I would like to think if you’re going up against a guy who potentially you could be up against further down the line [for representative spots] there’d be a bit more sting in the tackle,” Dennis said.

Larkham has altered the travel schedule this year in a bid to turn around their losing record on the road, the Brumbies opting not to train at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on the eve of the biggest game of their season.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship 2015: Mark Bolton ready for his first Ironman, at last

Mark Bolton has become a lot of things in football retirement. Husband of Alex, father of Maggie, co-founder and CEO of not-for-profit youth homelessness organisation, Ladder, topping the list of the most profound.
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Something that has also emerged in the eight years since the fourth pick of the 1997 AFL national draft played his 124th, and last, game for Essendon, is that Bolton is nothing if not true to his word. For the last 12 months, like clockwork, Bolton has risen daily at around 4:30am. And not because of the happy little baby who arrived on the scene at around the same time.

Every day before many have even hit snooze on their alarms, Bolton has pushed pedals, swum laps and pounded the pavement across distances he never previously thought possible to eke from his body. Then, after breakfast with his girls, he has transformed Clark Kent style – exchanging exercise get-up for suit and specs – and gone to work.

All this in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Ironman; an epic sporting pursuit that Bolton entered for the simple reason that – close to 15 years ago now – he wrote in an AFL player profile that he would.

“It was a standard question like ‘what’s your sporting goal outside of football?’. I’d seen the Hawaii Ironman on TV and we were filling out those profiles the next day,” Bolton recalls well over a decade after the fact.

“So I said I’d like to do an Ironman one day. As soon as I’d written it down I thought ‘Oh God, it means I’m going to have to do it’. That’s where the seed was planted. It has taken this long.”

Behind the scenes of the AFL’s broader community, respect only continues to rise for Bolton who heads the organisation that has become the AFL Players Association’s official charity.

He has many strengths, though clearly being at peace with unfinished business is not one of them. No one but Bolton, surely, would even remember the Ironman challenge that appeared in his player profile. Let alone hold him to it. But in Bolton’s mind that is irrelevant. He committed and, even in the considerable time lapse, has never forgotten.

Once his AFL career was done, it dawned on Bolton, 36 next month, that he doesn’t particularly enjoy keeping fit for keeping fit’s sake. He needs goals. All the better if they’re lofty ones, apparently.

He played footy for Melbourne University Blacks, in the amateurs, for four years and absolutely loved it. “That’s where I’d say I fell back in love with football,” said the man whose playing career at Essendon could ultimately be summarised as a far from easy existence of perpetual motion between the senior and VFL teams. “That place is more than a footy club, it’s a community. I had an amazing time there.”

Bolton entered a half-marathon and then, in 2012, a full marathon. He can laugh about the long form experience now, but the memories of how he “properly blew up” about 32 kilometres into a 42-kilometre exercise are vivid and unpleasant. It was a feeling he’d never felt before and does not want to revisit.

“Your mind is kind of working out what the escape route is. Do you stop altogether? Do you walk? Do you try to run faster? I was beside myself, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it,” Bolton remembers.

“The low moment came as I was running down Domain Road, towards St Kilda Road, and a guy in a Mr. Potato Head outfit – like a head to toe Mr. Potato Head outfit – ran past me at a comfortable clip.”

Bolton’s time that day was 3 hours, 48 minutes.It was about a year later when he started getting on the bike and, in doing so, moved closer to three-discipline pursuits.

Bolton did a half-ironman 13 months ago in Geelong. The conditions were horrific – “so an overnight low of 36 degrees, choppy and super high winds. It was an awful, awful day to make your debut into any triathlon, let alone a half-ironman” – but he made it to the finish line in 5 hours, 35 minutes.

This “cured” Bolton’s ambition of doing a full Ironman for all of about six weeks. But when he saw a couple of fellow ex-AFL players, Steve Greene and Michael Wilson, completing the 2014 edition the bug bit back. Bolton signed up to this year’s race the next day. With wife Alex about eight months pregnant at the time, he asked sincerely for her approval.

“It’s a really selfish sport and after 10 years of footy she had every right to say no,” Bolton says. “But we both felt it was a bit now or never; for me, like an itch that needed to be scratched.”

The deal between the couple was that Bolton would need to be home before breakfast time – around 7 – every morning. Hence his daily 4:30 rising hour for the past year.

Fatherhood has seen Bolton contain his Ladder working hours better. His standard workday now on the organisation is between about 9am and 6pm. Bolton “collapses” into bed every night around 9pm.

A weekly indoor session in Fitzroy’s The Spin Room has been Bolton’s most brutal regular physical appointment. Clocking about 40 kilometres in an hour on a stationary bike, it’s all sweat, no stops. His heart rate sits at about 160 beats per minute. His max is between 175-180bpm.

The longest of Bolton’s weekly sessions have been on Saturdays and a couple of ex-Essendon teammates, David Hille and Hal Hunter, have been occasional accomplices on rides that have sometimes stretched from Carlton to Kinglake, then home. Mostly though, Bolton has ridden alone, building from 60-kilometre treks to 206 kilometres in his longest six-and-a-half-hour missions.

His big Sunday run (almost always after that 4:30am alarm) grew from hour-long to three-hour-long journeys covering 32-odd kilometres.

Good mate and another former Bomber, Jason Johnson, was a running partner for a while but it was best for both of them, Bolton says with dry wit, that this stop. “I just realised he was too quick for me. I used to get competitive and ended up hurting myself. Plus, he wasn’t overly keen on running at quarter to five in the morning.”

Bolton has got much of his training guidance from professional Australian triathlete Luke Bell, who finished fifth in the 2003 Hawaii Ironman.

The alignment came about through Ironman Asia-Pacific Melbourne organisers who, upon spotting Bolton’s entry, offered the ex-footballer a regular contact point. The pair has scarcely trained together but with admiration audible in his voice, Bolton describes Bell as a “real mentor”.

Former Essendon fitness guru John Quinn has counselled Bolton regularly about recovery; a fact Bolton is particularly grateful for given Quinn’s recent health problems.

Tipping the scales at about 86 kilograms, Bolton has lost 10 kilograms and hasn’t been so light since he was in Year 11. At his heaviest playing AFL he weighed around 95kg. He feels “generally tired” but healthy, struggles to satisfy his hunger, and wishes he was a shareowner in the makers of Weet-Bix.

On the eve of the big race, Bolton had raised just over $10,000 for Ladder through a CEO’s Ironman challenge fundraising drive. He has twice torn calf muscles (both sides), and tore a hamstring about four months ago. He says he has “constantly” asked himself why he ever committed; pondering that question at least once a week for the last 12 months.

Suddenly, Bolton is a very short distance away from a start line he first pictured himself on 15 years ago. “Probably what I’ve enjoyed about it is that it’s quite linear in terms of work in and results out,” he says.

“Footy was never like that for me. Sometimes the harder you worked the worse you got. And this is also going into the unknown. Which you don’t often get to do in life.”

2015 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship

When: Sunday, 22 March

What:  3.8km swim in Frankston, 180km two-lap bike on the Eastlink Freeway back to Frankston and 42.2km marathon run to the finish at St Kilda

Who: More than 2500 participants from 45 countries .

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Marcos Ambrose goes bush to consider his V8 Supercars future

Frustrated former V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose has fled to the outback to consider his future after aborting his comeback.
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Ambrose took off following the shock announcement on Tuesday that he was standing down “temporarily” just two events into his full-time return to V8 racing with DJR Team Penske.

He is spending time on his own in a remote area of Central Australia to “clear his head” as he wrestles with the dilemma of whether he can be competitive again in V8s.

Ambrose, 38, is said by those close to him to be suffering a crisis of confidence after struggling in the season-opening Adelaide 500 and again in the non-championship support races at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Fairfax Media has learnt he drove by himself from Adelaide to Alice Springs last week and has stayed in the remote region to contemplate his V8 future.

The long drive north is the first stage of his efforts to think through the conflicting feelings he has about resuming his comeback later in the season.

Ambrose is understood still to be in the area, visiting sights such as Uluru as he agonises over his decision in the solitude of the outback.

“He needs time to clear his head,” an associate said. “The guy just needs to stop for a while and take a breath. You can’t race a car if not mentally prepared to race. He’s nowhere near the top of his game in his own mind.”

Ambrose is due back in time for next weekend’s Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains, near Launceston, his hometown.

But whether he will be there is undecided and friends suggest he will avoid the event if he decides not to pursue his full-time return to V8s.

His place in the DJR Team Penske Falcon has been filled by Scott Pye, who lost his drive when the squad scaled back to one car.

Although it was announced Ambrose requested to be “temporarily relieved” as the team’s driver, there was no timescale for reclaiming his place other than being available to partner Pye as planned in the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 endurance races.

Sources close to Ambrose have suggested that, unless he has a dramatic change of mind during his outback odyssey, he is unlikely to be back in V8s permanently, reducing his commitment to a co-driver role in the enduros this year and next year.

He returned to Australia after nine years in the US where he competed with distinction in the top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car series.

He was one of the dominant V8 drivers before leaving, winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004 and narrowly missing out in his farewell season in 2005.

Ambrose signed a two-year deal to lead US team owner Roger Penske’s entry into V8 Supercars in partnership with Ford legend Dick Johnson.

The new-look DJR Team Penske scaled back to one Falcon for Ambrose, who downplayed expectations in his first season back.

But adapting to the new-generation V8 racers proved even more difficult than he anticipated and those who know him well believe he is questioning whether he has the energy late in his career to endure the slog of re-establishing himself and DJR Team Penske as front-runners in V8s.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.